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The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Upfitting High-Roof and Compact Vans

October 2016, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Adrian Steel’s Drop-Down and Grip Lock Ladder Racks provide lighter options for ladder storage and ease of access. (Photo: Adrian Steel)
Adrian Steel’s Drop-Down and Grip Lock Ladder Racks provide lighter options for ladder storage and ease of access. (Photo: Adrian Steel)

With vans now in all shapes and sizes, from small compact models to long wheelbase, high-roof models, a plethora of available van upfitting options are available to fleet managers. Work Truck magazine picked out a few highlights from the long list of new available features.  

Ladder Racks

Adrian Steel Drop-Down & Grip Lock Ladder Racks

Adrian Steel’s new ladder rack family caters to individual fleet needs. The new ladder rack family consists of the Drop-Down Ladder Rack and the Grip Lock Ladder Rack.

The Drop-Down Ladder Rack includes exclusive “Twist to Adjust” patent pending adjustment knobs that allow the user to set up the ladder rack to their ladder in just seconds versus 30-45 minutes of traditional drop-down racks.

The new, low profile outboard design lowers the handle down for simplified operation. The easy-to-reach rotational handle and two-stage drop provides an ergonomic load and unload height, with technicians 5-foot 4-inches and taller safely and easily able operate the drop-down ladder rack.

The Grip Lock Ladder Rack includes a new tilt angle design, which enhances ease of operation. Simplified loading and unloading make it easier than ever for users 5-foot 7-inches and taller to operate. Clamps secure the ladder during transportation, eliminating the need for straps or bungee cords to keep a ladder in place.
In addition, all ladder racks are protected from the elements and are corrosion resistant. The natural aluminum finish reduces corrosion and is 15% lighter than traditional steel racks.

Leggett & Platt Ladder Racks

The easy-to-use and dependable ladder racks from Leggett & Platt can hold various sizes and styles of ladders.

Leggett & Platt Ladder Racks feature locking options to help prevent theft, and only feature one moving part for ease of maintenance. (Photo: Leggett & Platt)
Leggett & Platt Ladder Racks feature locking options to help prevent theft, and only feature one moving part for ease of maintenance. (Photo: Leggett & Platt)

Ladders are clamped to the side of the van and easily raised to the roof, helping prevent strain for the user and damage to the vehicle or ladder. For security, drivers can simply lock the handle with a standard padlock to protect the ladder from theft. In addition, vinyl-coated clamps resist abrasion and the convenient operating handle securely locks ladders in place, extending the life of both the ladder and the ladder rack.

Additional accessories are available including an Extended Front Stop.

With only one moving part, ladder racks are designed to be maintenance-free for a lifetime. In addition, many racks install to existing vehicle hardware, which means no drilling is required. Other racks include roof-mounted bolt-through feet and reinforcement plates; some drilling is required. The racks are also adjustable to fit multiple step and extension ladders.

Cargo Solutions

American Eagle Heavy-Duty Aluminum Drawer Systems

Custom fit to specific vehicle models, the heavy-duty aluminum drawers from American Eagle provide ease of access and storage for tools and supplies. (Photo: American Eagle)
Custom fit to specific vehicle models, the heavy-duty aluminum drawers from American Eagle provide ease of access and storage for tools and supplies. (Photo: American Eagle)

American Eagle’s new heavy-duty aluminum drawer systems provide heavy-duty mobile storage with weight savings up to 41% compared to its steel counterpart.

The American Eagle Aluminum Series Heavy-Duty drawer systems feature 500-pound capacity rated slides to support heavy tools and other parts and equipment. Each drawer is constructed of lightweight aluminum to offer weight savings and corrosion resistance. Each drawer is fitted with a non-slip liner that adds additional protection for valuable tools and aids in drawer organization.

The heavy-duty aluminum drawer systems also offer such standard features as individual locking drawers that use a single-handed T-Handle, powder-coated drawer fronts, and removable drawers to assist in installation as well as on-the-job convenience.

The drawer system also comes with dividers, a telescoping top shelf, a 2 ½-inch riser built-in, and concealed latching hardware for durability and security. All American Eagle drawer systems are engineered and custom-made to fit the user’s specifications. A drawer system measurement guide is available online to assist with proper upfitting and ordering.

Masterack SmartSpace Cargo Storage

With a variety of shelving and module storage options, the SmartSpace cargo storage system provides infinite storage possibilities.
With a variety of shelving and module storage options, the SmartSpace cargo storage system provides infinite storage possibilities.

The SmartSpace product line from Masterack is a modular cargo management system that offers a variety of shelves, drawers, and accessories that slide into upright panels for infinite storage possibilities.

Made from structural foam and aluminum materials, this system provides weight savings over comparable steel interiors. These quiet, composite shelves hold as much weight as steel, with heavy-duty grade-8 fasteners to secure the system to a vehicle.

The modular design features 22-inch stackable uprights designed for use in any cargo vehicle size as well as a variety of shelves, drawers, and accessories that slide into the upright panels for infinite storage possibilities.

Modules can be installed at 90 or 180 degrees for convenient side or rear door access and the heavy-duty aluminum rail mounting system engineered to secure system in the vehicle.

Additionally, sound-absorbing shelves, uprights, and secured drawers deter tools and equipment from rattling while the vehicle is in motion.

Caseco Mfg./Ranger Design

Caseco Truck Body offers commercial van storage solutions through Ranger Design and help to maximize valuable van floor space. (Photo: Caseco)
Caseco Truck Body offers commercial van storage solutions through Ranger Design and help to maximize valuable van floor space. (Photo: Caseco)

Caseco Truck Body (CTB) offers high-quality commercial van equipment that is durable, lightweight, and rattle-free through Ranger Design.

The shelving and storage bin systems combine the strength and rigidity of aluminum extrusions with a solid substrate shelf base, to give a shelf tray that is strong, and very quiet with shelf dividers that drop into specially engineered slots that eliminate all rattles, which are available in hundreds of different configurations of height, length, and shelf depth. 

Because of the curved end panels and different depths of shelves, these units hug the wall of the van and maximize valuable floor space. All van shelving has a standard depth of 14 inches. Clear space available on each shelf is 8 inches on the top shelf, 11 inches on the middle, and 12 inches on the bottom.

DECKED Van Cargo Storage

Compatible with vertical van racking systems, the DECKED van cargo storage system helps drivers stay
organized while on the road. (Photo: DECKED)
Compatible with vertical van racking systems, the DECKED van cargo storage system helps drivers stayorganized while on the road. (Photo: DECKED)

DECKED American-made cargo van storage systems incorporate two weatherproof, bed-length drawers that roll out to provide easy access to tools, equipment, and other gear.

Fleets can minimize the need for workers to enter vehicles to retrieve necessary items, reducing injuries and saving time thanks to the payload of tools and other equipment which rolls out in the “power zone” in DECKED’s weatherproof drawers. The deck and drawers of the storage system are built from 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The deck incorporates HDPE co-molded to a steel subframe to provide a 2,000-pound payload capacity. The drawers can hold up to 200 pounds each and are lockable to provide secure storage.

With an installation time of approximately 90 minutes and little to no vehicle alteration required as well as only 15-20 minutes needed to remove or reinstall, DECKED is an ideal solution to van storage and organization.
DECKED is compatible with vertical van racking systems for total organization. The DECKED system can be installed in nearly every cargo van made since the late 1990s, is easy to install, and mounts to the vehicle’s existing tie-downs and attachment points with little to no drilling required.

Sortimo by Knapheide Organization for Compact Vans

Boxxes are van storage bins that offer increased organization and efficiency and serve as mobile toolboxes. (Photo: Knapheide)
Boxxes are van storage bins that offer increased organization and efficiency and serve as mobile toolboxes. (Photo: Knapheide)

Sortimo by Knapheide’s Exxpand is a cargo van equipment system for today’s mobile technician.
Exxpand is comprised of different van interior components that combine to form a modular and lightweight van equipment system. Its comprehensive lineup of van equipment includes van shelving, van partitions, van storage bins, van accessories, van packages, and van drawers. 

Sortimo’s Shelf Staxx and Flexx Rack are modular van shelving systems. Shelf Staxx is a unique van shelving system constructed of alternative materials that minimally impacts the available payload for your commercial cargo van, enabling you to carry more.  Unlike the competition, the base Shelf Staxx van shelving packages come equipped with a row of Sortimo S-Boxxes, which serve both as van drawers and mobile toolboxes, giving you more value and function. A variety of van storage bins, van accessories, van partitions, and van packages can be used in conjunction with Shelf Staxx van shelving for further customization.

Shelf Staxx is a unique van shelving system constructed of alternative materials that minimally impacts the available payload for your commercial cargo van. (Photo: Knapheide)
Shelf Staxx is a unique van shelving system constructed of alternative materials that minimally impacts the available payload for your commercial cargo van. (Photo: Knapheide)

Flexx Rack is a modular, drop-down shelving and cargo management system all-in-one. It has been developed especially for the requirements of courier, express, and parcel delivery service providers.

Boxxes are van storage bins that offer increased organization and efficiency and serve as mobile toolboxes. Boxxes van storage bins serve dual purposes, acting both as a drawer and mobile storage. Slide the van storage bins out on the provided tracks to quickly grab a part or remove it completely from the shelf so you can carry multiple tools to the job site with one hand.

Choose from a variety of van storage bins to accommodate your needs. There are Boxxes designed to store efficiently nearly any piece of hardware, part, or tool you may carry within your cargo van. From small components to large power tools, van storage bins can help you increase your organization and mobility.

Partitions

Sortimo by Knapheide Protexx Van Partitions

The Sortimo by Knapheide Protexx van partition is made of rugged, lightweight ABS thermoformed construction.

Protexx van partitions are durable yet lightweight, constructed of an ABS thermoformed material to provide protection yet minimally impact payload. (Photo: Knapheide)
Protexx van partitions are durable yet lightweight, constructed of an ABS thermoformed material to provide protection yet minimally impact payload. (Photo: Knapheide)

Van partitions divide the cargo van into two distinct zones: the cab, which doubles as a mobile office, and the cargo area for storing tools, equipment, and parts. In the event of an unplanned stop or collision, the cargo van partition provides a barrier between the driver and any occupants in the cab from the contents in the cargo area.

Protexx van partitions are durable yet lightweight, constructed of an ABS thermoformed material to provide protection yet minimally impact payload. Sortimo by Knapheide has a comprehensive lineup of van bulkheads, including models for compact and full-size cargo vans as well as van partitions with and without a window and with and without a pass-through door. Van Partitions from Sortimo by Knapheide have a true OEM appearance and reduce noise that is heard in the cab coming from the cargo area. The partitions’ recessed design enhances comfort for the cab occupants by allowing for maximum seat travel.

Ranger Design MaxView Partition

Max View Partition features
include 180-degree rear visibility that reduces blind spots, full seat travel, and maximum cargo floor space. (Photo: Ranger Design)
Max View Partition features include 180-degree rear visibility that reduces blind spots, full seat travel, and maximum cargo floor space. (Photo: Ranger Design)

Ranger Design’s Max View Clear Top Composite safety partition works to separate cargo from the passenger cabin in vans such as the Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and Ram ProMaster City.

Built from thermoformed ABS and polycarbonate, the contoured partition is engineered to resist maximum impact and provides a clear view for better driver visibility.

Designed to be rattle-free, the partition can increase cabin comfort for drivers by reducing noise, vibration, and harshness.

Other features include 180-degree rear visibility that reduces blind spots, full seat travel, maximum cargo floor space, and a tighter fit to improve climate control.

Adrian Steel Composite Van Partitions

The composite van partitions from Adrian Steel are designed with the driver in mind, reducing noise and distraction and increasing storage. (Photo: Adrian Steel)
The composite van partitions from Adrian Steel are designed with the driver in mind, reducing noise and distraction and increasing storage. (Photo: Adrian Steel)

The Adrian Steel line of composite partitions provides a more comfortable mobile office for cargo van drivers. The new partition reduces cargo noise from entering the cab area and reduces driver distractions. Also, drivers won’t need to waste minutes and fuel getting the cab up to the perfect temperature on really hot or cold days and can hit the road faster and enjoy the benefits of increased climate control, such as using less fuel and not having to run the air conditioner at full blast all the time. Another driver benefit of the Adrian Steel composite partition is the maximum leg room and a very comfortable recline angle.

The optional window is designed with anti-glare, keeping oncoming headlights from bothering the driver. And, because maximizing storage is important for cargo van owners Adrian Steel’s composite partitions provide the ability to hang popular cargo management products, such as hooks, and has built-in storage areas for safety items, including fire extinguishers. Last but not least, the composite partition’s primary function is to separate the cab area from the cargo area. Adrian Steel has included an integrated steel frame along with the composite partition that provides the same level of performance that drivers are accustomed to from Adrian Steel. 

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